Can researchers measure harmful effects from consumer chemicals by tracking the products we buy? Is it possible to trace a link from someone’s purchase history to their health? This is the question that the HEAP team from Statens Serum Institut (SSI) have set out to explore, using data from the Mypurchases cohort. In this study, over 400 shoppers are sharing their purchase histories with researchers via an encrypted app.

At the “First International Consumer Data Symposium”, Thor Juncker, a statistician from SSI, presented his work on developing individualised chemical exposure profiles, or “fingerprints”. He used product databases to assess individual-level chemical exposures based on purchase history, and then compared this information with health questionnaires completed by each participant.

Watch the video for the preliminary results, an appraisal of the strengths and weaknesses of the consumer purchase data gathered so far, and the potential for further insights by using Machine Learning and Deep Learning methodologies in the future.

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